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$500,000 in illegal fireworks seized from La Puente home

June 22, 2010 |  8:12 am

L.A. County sheriff's deputies made an explosive discovery this week when they uncovered a La Puente home filled with nothing but half a million dollars' worth of illegal fireworks.

Deputies set up a surveillance operation on a house on a cul-de-sac in the 14800 block of Hartsville Street after receiving a tip that it was being used to sell and distribute fireworks, said Sgt. Russell Boucher of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Industry station.

They stopped a large van leaving the residence just after 9 p.m. Monday and found it loaded with about $10,000 worth of illegal fireworks.

When they went inside to search the home, they found every room stacked floor-to-ceiling with illegal fireworks.

"It sounded like the house was rented specifically for the purpose of housing fireworks," Boucher said. "There wasn't any furniture. Basically every room was filled with fireworks."

Arson and explosives investigators were dispatched to the scene, where they disposed of the fireworks and estimated their value at $500,000. 

Three men were taken into custody.

Authorities said the entire house -- and at least several nearby -- could have blown up if any of the firecrackers had ignited.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Some of the illegal fireworks discovered in a La Puente. Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Department